The Surgeon Minute

Downsizing Implants – A Growing Trend In Breast Augmentation

Downsizing Implants – A Growing Trend In Breast Augmentation
Bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to breast implants. More women are opting to remove or downsize their implants for many reasons; sometimes large breast implants get in the way of living life. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Baxter explains why what some are calling the “explant” is becoming popular.

Downsizing Implants – On The Rise

It appears to be a trend: according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery there were more than 38,000 breast implant removals performed in 2015 – and those numbers continue to grow. “We are definitely seeing more patients in the practice who are downsizing their implants,” shares Dr. Baxter. He says some women who wanted cleavage 15 years ago now want the look reversed because their life is different now. “What we are seeing are patients who had implants placed maybe 15 years ago, they were happy with them then, they aren’t unhappy with them now, because their life has changed.”

Why The Shift to Smaller Breasts

According to experts the highest demand for downsizing is in the 35-50 age group, where women may feel their breasts are too large for life’s demands. Authorities say many women in this age group have shifted from single to married with children and don’t want a massive chest any longer, but instead are looking for an athletic look to carry through middle age.

Shift towards downsizing implants.

“Maybe they have gone through menopause and they will say something like that was me then, that’s just not what I am now,” explains Baxter. He says some women getting breast augmentation for the first time are requesting smaller implants. “They just want to look more natural.”

Selecting The Right Size

Some women are opting to downsize because their implants have reached an age where replacement is necessary. Manufacturers of both silicone and saline implants recommend replacing them every 10 years. Baxter says it’s important to guide a patient through selecting a proper size, when downsizing.

“The process we go through to help them select the new implant size depends on how much breast tissue is left and do they need a breast lift, which most of the time they will need to do a lift.” Baxter says that some women may be opposed to a breast lift because of the possibility of scarring, but he says its the best option in many cases. “Women are naturally adverse to the idea of scars on the breast and so if they can avoid doing a lift, they would like that – but that could mean not being able to downsize to the degree that they want.”

Baxter says the recovery isn’t as long and painful as people think, and doing the best thing for the long run is always important. “I think the patients who decide to have their implants either removed or get a lift are generally happy with that decision.”

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